( b 1872; d Switzerland, Jan 1938). Italian flute maker, flautist and composer . He was a flautist at La Scala, Milan, from 1897. In 1910 he invented his ‘Albisiphon’, a vertically-held, Boehm-system bass flute in C, with a T-shaped head, which he described in his Albisiphon: flauto ottava bassa (Milan, 1910). It was used by, among others, Mascagni in Parisina (1913), and Zandonai in Melenis (1912) and Francesca da Rimini (1914). The Dayton Miller Collection (Library of Congress, Washington, DC) possesses two models of an ‘albisiphon baritono’ in C and a tenor in F. There is also an example of another invention which Miller termed ‘half flute in C’ (that part of a regular flute played by the left hand, with a wooden handle for right hand) for which Albisi composed a concerto. He also made flutes in collaboration with the Milanese maker Luigi Vanotti in about ...
E. Eugene Helm
revised by Martin Elste
(b Berlin, 1748; d Berlin, May 26, 1809). German viol player and instrument maker. He was a viol player in the royal chapel from 1765, and in 1770, together with J.F.E. Benda, he established the Berlin Liebhaberkonzerte. With Benda’s death in 1785 Bachmann succeeded him as director of the concerts; in the same year he married the noted singer and pianist Charlotte Caroline Wilhelmine Stöwe. Throughout this period he also made instruments in the shop of his father, the violin maker and court violinist Anton Bachmann (1716–1800), and may have been responsible for several innovations, including a screw-tuning mechanism for double basses which he introduced in about 1778, although a similiar mechanism was already known in France, having been developed by Benoît Fleury in 1766. He continued alone in his father’s business from 1791, at about which time he passed the directorship of the Liebhaberkonzerte to his younger brother, the court violinist Friedrich Wilhelm Bachmann (...
Roger J.V. Cotte
(b Fockenhof, Kurland, Feb 14, 1722; d Paris, March 24, 1791). French dilettante, amateur violinist and composer, patron of the arts and instrument collector. A magnificent and very wealthy nobleman, he both amused and astounded his contemporaries. M. Audinot in his comic opera La musicomanie (1779), and possibly E.T.A. Hoffmann in his tale Die Serapionsbrüder (1819), attempted to evoke his strange personality, emphasizing its ridiculous nature.
At the death of his father, a landed nobleman, in 1747, Bagge inherited a large fortune which enabled him to study the violin in Italy with Tartini. By 1750 he had settled in Paris; in the following year he was awarded the title chambellan du Roi de Prusse (then Frederick II) and married the daughter of the Swiss banker Jacob Maudry. With Maudry's death in 1762 the very large inheritance proved a source of contention to the ill-matched couple and they soon separated. Bagge later attempted to gain possession of the inheritance of Mme Maudry, who had died in ...
revised by William Waterhouse
(d 1831). English woodwind instrument inventor, maker and player and music publisher. Having originally trained as a turner, he began his career playing oboe, flute and flageolet at two London theatres. As maker, his first patent was in 1803 for a new model of ‘English flageolet’, which, by changing the fingering of the tonic from six to three fingers, led in about 1805 to the development of his double flageolet model in collaboration with John Parry (ii) (1776–1851). Between 1808 and 1821 he was in partnership with John Wood as Bainbridge & Wood, writing and publishing tutors and music for his instruments. From cto 1835 the business was continued by Bainbridge’s widow Harriet, and thereafter until 1855 by his successor, Hastrick, whose mark usually included the words ‘late Bainbridge, inventor’.
The firm’s speciality was the ‘English flute’ or ‘English flageolet’ – not to be confused with the French or the ‘quadrille’ flageolet – in its single, double and occasionally triple form. In addition they made single and double concert flutes with flageolet-type heads to be held transversely. These instruments, designed for amateurs of both sexes, enjoued enormous popularity, the double flageolet being much plagiarised (in spite of two unsuccessful legal actions) by rival makers both at home and abroad. Bainbridge was perhaps the earliest wind-instrument maker with the all-round abilities required to launch such projects successfully, combining single-handedly as he did the diverse skills of inventor, performer, teacher, manufacturer, author and publisher....
(fl London, 1643–80). English trumpet maker and court trumpeter. A medallion, dated by Byrne to 1643, shows ‘SIMON BEAL AET SVAE 28A’ holding a trumpet with a distinctive three-lobed ball on the bell pipe, possibly the earliest evidence of this English feature. Beale is known from two references in Pepys’s diary and other contemporary documents. He was said to work in Suffolk Street, London. In 1655 he supplied trumpets for a state occasion. His name appears in court records from the time of his appointment in June 1660 as a King’s Guard until February 1680, when his name appeared in a petition against one Joseph Wheeler, another trumpeter. His activities before 1660 are not clear, but Pepys stated that Beale had been one of Oliver Cromwell’s guards. He is reported to have made the tuba stentorphonica (‘speaking trumpet’), invented in 1670 by Sir Samuel Morland. In September 1675...
Howard Schott and Kenneth Gilbert
(b Ottawa, Dec 28, 1933; d Brignoles, France, June 16, 1989). Canadian harpsichord maker and harpsichordist. After classical studies he entered the Conservatoire de Musique in Montreal (1956), where he studied organ with Bernard Lagacé and harpsichord with Kenneth Gilbert. In 1959–60 at the Vienna Music Academy he studied harpsichord with Eta Harich-Schneider and had private lessons with Isolde Ahlgrimm (1959–60); he also studied at the Amsterdam Conservatory with Gustav Leonhardt (1960–61). After resuming his career as organist in Montreal, he served as musician-in-residence at the Shakespeare Festival, Stratford, Ontario (1962–3), and then entered the workshop of Frank Hubbard in Waltham, Massachusetts, to learn the craft of instrument making. In 1968 he moved to Paris as chief restorer in the Conservatoire workshop then being established under Frank Hubbard's direction. At the same time Bédard set up his own workshop with a small staff where he undertook restorations for other collections and produced harpsichords modelled on historical prototypes....
Edward H. Tarr
(b Winterset, IA, July 12, 1904; d Burbank, CA, Dec 12, 1960). American trumpeter and trumpet manufacturer. He studied cornet with William Eby, Vladimir Drucker, and Harold Mitchell, and trained as first trumpet in the Chicago Civic Orchestra. He was first trumpeter with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (1928–33) and with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1933–9), then with the Chicago Philharmonic (1939–49) and also with the WGN (radio) staff orchestra (1939–53). Around 1934 Benge started to experiment in his basement with trumpet construction. He sold his first trumpet in 1935; in 1953 he moved to Burbank, California, to devote himself exclusively to manufacturing.
On his death the business passed to his son Donald (1933–2007), who in 1970 sold it to Leisure Time Industries of Los Angeles. After that, the company changed hands rapidly: in 1972 to the H.N. White Co. (King), who moved it to Anaheim, also expanding the number of models, then to Eastlake, Ohio, in ...
revised by Ludwig Böhm
(b Munich, April 9, 1794; d Munich, Nov 25, 1881). German flute maker, flautist, composer and inventor. He worked out the proportions and devised the mechanism which are the bases of the modern flute. Boehm was the son of a goldsmith, in whose craft he became fully skilled at an early age. In childhood he taught himself the flageolet and one-keyed flute; by the age of 16 he had already grown dissatisfied with the latter, and in 1810 made himself a copy of a four-keyed instrument by Grenser of Dresden. Around the same time he also made a nine-keyed flute with a movable golden mouth-hole, based on the ideas of Johann Nepomuk Kapeller (1776–1825), flautist in the royal court orchestra in Munich. In 1810 Boehm began flute lessons with Kapeller, who gave him formal instruction until 1812, admitting then that he had no more to teach him....
revised by Michael D. Friesen
(b Pampa, TX, Nov 10, 1936). American organ builder and organist. Bozeman studied organ performance at North Texas State College (now University of North Texas), but left in 1959 before finishing a degree to apprentice in organ building with Otto Hofmann of Austin, Texas. In 1962 he began working with the architect and organ historian Joseph E. Blanton in Victoria, Texas, to develop organ designs. He also did freelance organ work, and in 1965 entered the employ of Sipe-Yarbrough of Dallas, working under Robert L. Sipe, ultimately becoming vice-president of the firm. In 1967 Bozeman received a Fulbright scholarship to study organ and harpsichord performance in Vienna with Anton Heiller and Isolde Ahlgrimm, and organ building with Joseph Mertin (1904–98). He also travelled extensively in Europe, visiting and documenting organs. Upon his return in 1968 he went to work for Fritz Noack.
In 1971 Bozeman established his own shop in Lowell, Massachusetts, and the following year entered into partnership with David V. Gibson (...
( b Paris, June 13, 1799; d Paris, 5/April 6, 1839). French oboist, wind instrument maker and composer . He studied at the Paris Conservatoire from 1812 under Gustave Vogt, who shared Brod’s Protestant Alsatian background. Having received the premier prix in 1818, the following year Brod was appointed second oboist in the Opéra orchestra alongside his teacher. During Vogt’s absences in 1826 and 1828 Brod filled Vogt’s place as first oboist. The abilities of the two players were often compared; Fétis found Brod’s tone sweeter than that of his teacher. A statuette by Dantan jeune (Paris, Musée Carnavalet) caricatures Brod playing a musette. He died just 3 months before he would have been eligible for a pension to support his wife and young son. His widow petitioned repeatedly for support from the administration of both the Conservatoire and Opéra.
Oboes by Brod, some made in collaboration with his brother Jean-Godefroy (...
Edward L. Kottick
(b New York, April 11, 1945). American harpsichord maker and performer. His father was a film composer, songwriter, and conductor. He began piano lessons at age 11, and studied music at the University of Michigan (1962–3) before transferring to the Mannes College of Music (1963–9), where he won a Harpsichord Music Society scholarship for study with Sylvia Marlowe. While at Mannes, he worked as a contract tuner and salesman for Wolfgang Joachim Zuckermann, and during the summers of 1965–9, he worked at the Eric Herz shop, primarily on harpsichord actions. In 1965, he served as Marlowe’s harpsichord technician during her South American tour. In 1969–70, he built his first harpsichord, an Italian virginal. From 1970 to 1972 he apprenticed with Frank Hubbard and served as shop foreman. From 1972 to 1979 he maintained his own workshop, first in Lebanon, New Hampshire, later in Norwich, Vermont, where he completed 18 harpsichords, including five French double-manual instruments after Michel Richard, two Flemish singles after Andreas Ruckers, two French doubles after Ruckers/Blanchet, an Italian single after Giusti, and a Flemish double after Dulcken....
(b Pavenham, Beds., 1650; d Brasted, Kent, bur. April 12, 1712). English trumpeter and brass instrument maker. He was apprenticed to the widow of a member of the Haberdashers Company of London in 1664, presumably through a family connection. At the age of 16 he was appointed Trumpeter in Extraordinary to Charles II. He married at the age of 21 on taking his freedom of the Haberdashers and moving to Hatchett Alley on Tower Hill. In 1678 he was appointed Trumpeter in Ordinary and also became a trumpeter in the second Troop of Horse Guards. He moved to The Horne and Trumpet in Salisbury Street and advertised trumpets of silver and brass for sale. The surviving plate books of the Royal Jewel House show that Bull was also responsible for instrument repairs from at least 1685 until 1700. Bull moved from Salisbury Street to the Haymarket in 1682...
Barra R. Boydell
(b Waterford, 1740; d ?London, c1795). Irish violinist and inventor. Nothing is known of Clagget before around 1760 when, together with his brother
In Dublin he had performed at concerts on new or unusual instruments, and after settling in London he largely devoted his attention to the development and invention of musical instruments, concerning himself especially with tuning and temperament. In ...
Alan Tyson and Leon Plantinga
[Clementi, Mutius Philippus Vincentius Franciscus Xaverius]
(b Rome, Jan 23, 1752; d Evesham, Worcs., March 10, 1832). English composer, keyboard player and teacher, music publisher and piano manufacturer of Italian birth.
The oldest of seven children of Nicolo Clementi (1720–89), a silversmith, and Magdalena, née Kaiser, Clementi began studies in music in Rome at a very early age; his teachers were Antonio Boroni (1738–92), an organist named Cordicelli, Giuseppi Santarelli (1710–90) and possibly Gaetano Carpani. In January 1766, at the age of 13, he secured the post of organist at his home church, S Lorenzo in Damaso. In that year, however, his playing attracted the attention of an English traveller, Peter Beckford (1740–1811), cousin of the novelist William Beckford (1760–1844) and nephew of William Beckford (1709–70), twice Lord Mayor of London. According to Peter Beckford’s own forthright explanation, he ‘bought Clementi of his father for seven years’, and in late ...
Janet K. Page
(b Minneapolis, MN, Aug 4, 1952).
American oboist and maker of historical oboes. He trained as an artist and oboist at the California Institute of the Arts, receiving a BFA in 1975. He began playing baroque oboe the same year, and has become one of the leading players of historical oboes in North America. He taught at the New England Conservatory and the Longy School of Music from 1985 to 1989. Dalton began to make oboes in 1976, one of several American makers then beginning to focus on that instrument.
As an oboe maker, Dalton is primarily self-taught, although he was influenced by the flute maker Rod Cameron and the recorder maker David Ohannessian. He began with drawings (of Michel Piguet’s Rottenburgh oboe) obtained from Friedrich von Huene, and from 1977 he studied instruments in museum collections. Dalton tries to revive an instrument’s intrinsic playing qualities, as revealed by its materials, proportions, and music, and he has experimented with construction techniques, finishes, key-making, and staple and reed design. He has devoted special attention to tuning and pitch and was one of the first Americans to make oboes at a′ = 392. His baroque oboe production includes several instruments by J.H. Eichentopf (oboe d’amore, oboe, taille de hautbois); he also makes models after N. Hotteterre, the “Galpin” oboe, J.C. Denner (taille de hautbois), and Anciuti. He is especially noted for his classical-period instruments, after Grundmann and Floth. Except for the period from ...
(b St Joseph, MO, July 11, 1939; d Petaluma, CA, July 9, 2005). American musician, composer, and experimental instrument maker. He was a jazz pianist in Kansas City before turning in the 1960s to playing keyboard with San Francisco rock groups. Disillusioned by commercial work, he began composing ‘fusion’ music and making instruments (often inspired by non-Western models) with which to play it. He described himself as an itinerant flute-maker and sold his popular bamboo flutes and other creations at Bay Area fairs and concerts. Inventions of his include the Wind Wand (a long dowel with a handle and an adjustable cross-piece intersecting a large rubber band stretched over the ends of the dowel; swung in a circle or back and forth, it produces four pitches); Spirit Catcher (a smaller Wind Wand with two rubber bands, producing eight tones); Butu (a section of bamboo with fingerholes, played by striking the bottom on a hard surface and fingering the holes to change the pitch); Groove Stick (a long bamboo scraper), as well as the Tank, the Circular Violin, and a bamboo xylophone. He shared his music and instruments with public school classes, where he was known as ‘Mr. Sound Magic’. In later years DeVore explored improvisation together with like-minded musicians and experimental instrument makers including Bart Hopkin, Tom Nunn, and Richard Waters. After DeVore’s death many of his instruments were donated to local schools....
revised by Thomas Hiebert
(b Würzburg, March 13, 1767; d Paris, June 19, 1844). German horn player, composer and teacher, active in France. Son of the Hungarian-born principal horn at the Würzburg court, Friedrich Domnich (b Ofen, 9 June 1729; d Würzburg, 22 April 1790), he was the most famous of three horn-playing brothers; the others were Jacob (b Würzburg, 1758; d Philadelphia, after 1806), who in about 1790 emigrated to Philadelphia and taught and played extensively there, and Arnold (b Würzburg, 29 Sept 1771; d Meiningen, 14 July 1834), who was employed at the Saxe-Meiningen court from 1786 until 1834, becoming principal horn in 1803. At an early age Heinrich entered the band of Count von Elz at Mainz, but when subjected to livery service he left in 1783 for Paris, where he studied with Punto for two years. In 1785 he earned praise for the neatness and facility of his playing as second to Jean Lebrun in a double concerto at the Concert Spirituel; this was the first of at least eight appearances there by Domnich between ...
(b Jirapa, Ghana, June 22, 1958). Ghanaian xylophone maker, player, and teacher. Born into a family of gyilli makers and players in northwest Ghana, Doozie began playing at six years of age. When he was 12 his father taught him to make his first gyilli and he was a practised maker by age 15. After secondary school Doozie moved to Accra to become a xylophonist with the Ghana Dance Ensemble. He was also an instructor at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon. Among other appointments, he has performed with the National SO Ghana and has been associated with the Institute of African Studies and the music and performing arts departments of the University of Ghana. In 1990 he established a workshop to produce xylophones; he made the xylophones used in the Broadway production of The Lion King. He has also restored instruments in museum collections. He continues to teach and perform and is managing director of Dagarti Arts and Music in Accra and a member of the Arts Council of Ghana. He is also involved in promoting fair trade practices. Doozie’s xylophone bars—from eight to 18 for each instrument—are made of aged, fire-dried planks of wood from male shea trees. Gourd resonators are affixed under the bars, which are tied to the curved frame. The tips of the wooden beaters are padded with rubber recycled from tyres....
Victor de Pontigny
revised by Paul Sparks
(b Heilbronn, 1802; d Styria, 1890). German jew's harp and guitar player. After an initial lack of success in his native country, he travelled through Switzerland in 1825–6, eventually arriving in Paris where he worked as a guitar virtuoso. In 1827 his op.1 (a set of 12 airs for solo guitar) was published by Richault in Paris, and in the same year he appeared in London as a guitarist and jew's harpist. He produced extremely beautiful effects by performing on 16 jew's harps, having for many years cultivated this instrument in an extraordinary manner. The patronage of the Duke of Gordon induced him to return to London in 1828; but he soon found that the iron jew's harp had so injured his teeth that he could not play without pain, and he therefore spent more time playing the guitar. At length a dentist devised a glutinous covering for his teeth, which enabled him to play his jew's harp again. He was very successful in Scotland and thence went to Bath (...
(b c1575; bur. Greenwich, July 24, 1651). English composer, string player and instrument maker. He may have been the son of Richard Farrant, Master of the Choristers at St George’s Chapel, Windsor and Master of the Children of the Chapel Royal. A birthdate of about 1575 would make Daniel Farrant a contemporary of John Coprario and Alfonso Ferrabosco II, who John Playford mentioned with Farrant in 1661 as ‘The First Authors of Inventing and Setting Lessons’ for lyra viol. On 23 November 1607 Farrant was given a place in the royal violin band at the court of James I. He is listed as a player of the viol in several documents of 1624 and 1625.
Farrant was an instrument maker as well as a player. On 27 February 1626 he was paid £109 for six ‘Artificiall Instruments’ ‘made and finished’ for royal service. Playford wrote that he was ‘a person of such ingenuity for his several rare inventions of instruments, as the Poliphant and the Stump, which were strung with wire’ and ‘a lyra viol, to be strung with lute strings and wire strings, the one above the other’. This cannot be taken at face value since Farrant would have been too young to have invented the poliphant or poliphon, which (Playford claimed elsewhere) Queen Elizabeth played, and at least three other individuals are connected with the invention of the lyra viol with sympathetic metal strings – the ancestor of the baryton. Nevertheless, it is likely that Farrant was involved in some way with the development of novel types of stringed instruments in Jacobean England....